Secretary of State Jesse White to attend Unity for Life Fair

n Feb. 22 event at Booker T. Washington Center to highlight need for African-American organ, tissue and blood donations

Various local organizations will team up to present a Unity for Life Donor Fair and Blood Drive from 1 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 22, at Booker T. Washington Center, 524 Kent St. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will be attending the event and will host a press conference at 2 p.m.

White will be joined by Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network African-American Task Force (AATF) on Donation founder Jack Lynch, Rockford Mayor Doug Scott, State Rep. Chuck Jefferson and local families affected by donation. Activities include food, live music, networking, door prize drawings and displays.

The event is organized by the AATF in conjunction with the Rock River Valley Blood Center, National Marrow Donor Program, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network and Illinois Secretary of State Organ Donor Program.

Thousands of African-Americans die each year due to a lack of donations from those with similar ethnic backgrounds. Transfusion and transplant medicine depend heavily on a diverse donation base. Through education and information, the AATF hopes to enhance and save lives within the African-American community.

For more information, contact Julie Tilbury, R.N., Rock River Valley Blood Center Marrow Donor Program coordinator and member of the AATF, at 815-543-6576.

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